The following is an face to face with Dr. Steve Shadrach, President of the Center for Mission Mobilization in Fayetteville, AR. Steve has served in collegiate ministry for over 30 years in both church and para-church ministries. He is author of several books for students and has helped develop many new ministries including Student Mobilization, Every Ethne, The Traveling Team, Campus Ministry Toolbox, Support Raising Solutions, Perspectives and 79. He has his Masters from Dallas Seminary and a PhD. in Leadership from Denver Seminary. And for the record neither of us is bald. Maybe some tattoos and piercing in strategic places, but not baldness, yet.
[CMT]- Steve, you have seen and experienced a lot in college ministry. You have seen fads come and go. You have seen times of great harvest and time of plowing tough soil. And you have experienced all this in the U.S. as well as overseas. Share with us, what is the need of the hour in college ministry? What do we need to focus on more than anything else?
[Steve]- Well, I am not much of a prognosticator (he smiles, because he really doesn’t use big words), but I would have to say raising up reproducing mature disciple-makers who operate in their most strategic role to help fulfill the Great Commission.
[CMT]- That is a mouth full.
[Steve]- Let me unpack that. We need men and women, more than any other time in history, to really engage with (and obey) the command of Jesus to “go and make disciples of all nations.” We need world Christians who will do hard things for the glory of Jesus among the nations. We are in the home stretch of the reaching the nations and we need students once again to lead the charge for the Church.
Regarding “reproducing mature disciple-makers” I would say read this months issue of Campus Ministry Journal for some ideas on what this looks like. The goal of discipleship is reproduction. If a Christian cannot reproduce, we will continue being flatlined. One person discipling another who disciples another will not keep up with population growth. Campus Ministry Leaders need to understand and focus on the incredible potential of multiplying disciples.
[CMT]- You mentioned being in the home stretch of fulfilling the Great Commisssion. Please explain.
[Steve]- Many people more astute than myself have seen some incredible shifts happen in the church the last 50 years. Many more than in the last 2000. I can be anywhere in 24hrs. We can translate the Bible in a fraction of the time it used to take. There is 1000 churches for every unreached people group. The church is established in every nation on the planet. Out of the 16,350 people groups (what Jesus meant in Mt 28) we only have about 6000 left. The real kicker though is that we (the U.S. and Europe) are no longer the gravitational center of Christianity. There are more Christian in the southern hemisphere and in the east than the west. And the sleeping giants of China and India are starting to awaken. When they and other nations like Indonesia, Brazil, and Thailand begin to send cross-culturally to other nations, we will see an explosion in the Church. It’s happening right now.
[CMT]- Sounds like a great time to be a follower of Christ. Tell us more about how a person could practically be involved in “discipling the nations?”
[Steve]- There are 5 ways every Christian can be a part of reaching and discipling the nations: They can go and we need many more to go. They can send by providing the training and resources the goers need. They can welcome the nations in their town. Most universities have thousands of the best and brightest from all over the world right in their back yard. They can mobilize other by teaching, training, and challenging others, including their disciples, to consider investing their life in the greatest endeavor in human history. Lastly they can pray daily for an unreached people group.
[CMT]- That is easy to understand, practical and I can transfer that to others. Well, thanks for taking time to chat with us today.
[Steve]- My pleasure. Please don’t tell people I have tattoos and piercing.
[CMT]- Ok, you really don’t have any.